NBC5: Dartmouth-Hitchcock to ‘create nation’s first rural geriatric emergency department’


October 23, 2019

LEBANON, N.H. — Dartmouth-Hitchcock is teaming up with West Health to create a “geriatric emergency department.”

It will be the nation’s first to “focus on a largely rural population.”

“Provide us with resources, the expertise and frankly, the time to thoughtfully develop an emergency department environment that is designed with the need of seniors in mind,” said Dr. Scott Rodi, section chief, emergency medicine.

The $4.5 million research collaboration will help seniors in Northern New England by combining emergency medicine, geriatrics and telehealth resources.

“We will create a hub-and-spoke network to export Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s health’s geriatric emergency department resources with telehealth to rural emergency departments and clinics in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health.

Medical officials said the GED will have resources, specialized care, and protocols to deal with older adults. All emergency department staff will receive training.

Hospital officials said some space will be revamped to make it more friendly for older folks.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock will be looking to obtain the highest level of an accredited GED through the American College of Emergency Physicians.

It’s anticipated that the GED will start receiving patients as soon as December.

PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO ON MYNBC5.COM